[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 84 (Monday, May 4, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 20508-20509]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-10141]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 70-7015; NRC-2009-0187]


Notice of Intent and Opportunity to Provide Written Comments 
AREVA Enrichment Services LLC Eagle Rock Enrichment, Idaho Falls, ID

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of Intent (NOI).

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SUMMARY: AREVA Enrichment Services (AES) LLC submitted the original 
license application on December 30, 2008, that proposes the 
construction, operation and decommissioning of a gas centrifuge uranium 
enrichment facility to be located near Idaho Falls, Idaho. On April 24, 
2009, AREVA resubmitted the application to request an enrichment 
capacity increase. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), in 
accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and 10 CFR 
Part 51, announces its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) evaluating this proposed action. The EIS will examine 
the potential environmental impacts of the proposed facility.

DATES: NRC invites public comments on the appropriate scope of issues 
to be considered in the EIS. The public scoping process begins with 
publication of this NOI. Written comments submitted by mail should be 
postmarked by no later than June 19, 2009, to ensure consideration. 
Comments mailed after that date will be considered to the extent 
practical. The NRC will conduct a public scoping meeting in Idaho Falls 
to assist in defining the appropriate scope of the EIS, and to help 
identify the significant environmental issues that need to be addressed 
in detail. The meeting date, times and location are listed below:
     Meeting date: June 4, 2009.
     Meeting location: Shilo Inn, 780 Lindsay Boulevard, Idaho 
Falls, Idaho 83402.
     Scoping meeting time: 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

ADDRESSES: Members of the public are invited and encouraged to submit 
written comments regarding the appropriate scope and content of the 
EIS. Comments may be sent to the Chief, Rules and Directives Branch, 
Mail Stop TWB-05-B01, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555-0001. Please note Docket No. 70-7015 when submitting comments. 
Also comments may be sent electronically to nrc.gov">[email protected]nrc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general or technical information 
associated with the license review of the AES application, please 
contact Breeda Reilly at (301) 492-3110. For general information on the 
NRC NEPA or the environmental review process related to the AES 
application, please contact Gloria Kulesa at (301) 415-5308.
    Information and documents associated with the AES project, 
including the license application (submitted on December 30, 2008), are 
available for public review through our electronic reading room: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html and on the NRC's AREVA Eagle Rock 
Enrichment Facility Web page: http://www.nrc.gov/materials/fuel-cycle-fac/arevanc.html. Documents may also be obtained from NRC's Public 
Document Room at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Headquarters, 
11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

1.0 Background

    AES submitted a license application and an Environmental Report for 
a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment facility to the NRC on December 30, 
2008. The NRC will evaluate the potential environmental impacts 
associated with the proposed enrichment facility in parallel with the 
review of the license application. This environmental evaluation will 
be documented in draft and final EISs in accordance with NEPA and NRC's 
implementing regulations contained in 10 CFR part 51.
    If NRC later finds AES' complete license application to be 
acceptable for review, a Notice of Hearing and Opportunity to Petition 
for Leave to Intervene will be published in a future Federal Register 
notice. The purpose of the present notice is to inform the public that 
the NRC staff will prepare an EIS as part of the review of the 
application, and to encourage the public to participate in the 
environmental scoping process as defined in 10 CFR 51.29.

2.0 AREVA Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility

    The facility, if licensed, would enrich uranium for use in 
manufacturing commercial nuclear fuel for use in power reactors. Feed 
material would be natural (not enriched) uranium in the form of uranium 
hexafluoride (UF6) which contains the uranium-235 isotope. 
AES proposes to use centrifuge technology to enrich this isotope in the 
UF6 to up to 5 percent by weight. The centrifuge would 
operate at below atmospheric pressure. The capacity of the plant would 
be up to 6.6 million separative work units (SWU) (SWU relates to a 
measure of the work used to enrich uranium). The enriched 
UF6 would be transported to a fuel fabrication facility. The 
depleted UF6 would be stored on site until it is sold, 
disposed of commercially, or taken by the Department of Energy.

3.0 Alternatives to be Evaluated

    No-Action--The no-action alternative would be to not build the 
proposed gas centrifuge uranium enrichment facility. Under this 
alternative, the NRC would not approve the license application. This 
serves as a baseline for comparison.
    Proposed Action--The proposed action involves the construction, 
operation, and decommissioning of a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment 
facility located near Idaho Falls, Idaho. The applicant would be issued 
an NRC license under the provisions of 10 CFR Parts 30, 40, and 70. 
Other alternatives not listed here may be identified through the 
scoping process.

4.0 Environmental Impact Areas to be Analyzed

    The following areas have been tentatively identified for analysis 
in the EIS:
     Land Use: Plans, policies and controls;

[[Page 20509]]

     Transportation: Transportation modes, routes, quantities, 
and risk estimates;
     Geology and Soils: Physical geography, topography, geology 
and soil characteristics;
     Water Resources: Surface and groundwater hydrology, water 
use and quality, and the potential for degradation;
     Ecology: Wetlands, aquatic, terrestrial, economically and 
recreationally important species, and threatened and endangered 
species;
     Air Quality: Meteorological conditions, ambient 
background, pollutant sources, and the potential for degradation;
     Noise: Ambient, sources, and sensitive receptors;
     Historical and Cultural Resources: Historical, 
archaeological, and traditional cultural resources;
     Visual and Scenic Resources: Landscape characteristics, 
manmade features and view shed;
     Socioeconomics: Demography, economic base, labor pool, 
housing, transportation, utilities, public services/facilities, 
education, recreation, and cultural resources;
     Environmental Justice: Potential disproportionately high 
and adverse impacts to minority and low-income populations;
     Public and Occupational Health: Potential public and 
occupational consequences from construction, routine operation, 
transportation, and credible accident scenarios (including natural 
events);
     Waste Management: Types of wastes expected to be 
generated, handled, and stored; and
     Cumulative Effects: Impacts from past, present and 
reasonably foreseeable actions at, and near the site(s).
    This list is not intended to be all inclusive, nor is it a 
predetermination of potential environmental impacts. The list is 
presented to facilitate comments on the scope of the EIS. Additions to, 
or deletions from this list may occur as a result of the public scoping 
process.

5.0 Scoping Meeting

    One purpose of this notice is to solicit public comments on the 
proposed scope and content of the EIS. The NRC will hold a public 
scoping meeting in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to solicit both oral and written 
comments from interested parties. Scoping is an early and open process 
designed to determine the range of actions, alternatives, and potential 
impacts to be considered in the EIS and to identify significant issues 
related to the proposed action. It is intended to solicit input from 
the public and other agencies so that the analysis can be more clearly 
focused on issues of genuine concern. The principal goals of the 
scoping process are to:
     Ensure that concerns are identified early and are properly 
studied;
     Identify alternatives that will be examined;
     Identify significant issues that need to be analyzed;
     Eliminate unimportant issues from detailed consideration; 
and
     Identify public concerns.
    On June 4, 2009, the NRC will hold a public scoping meeting in 
Idaho Falls to solicit both oral and written comments from interested 
parties. The meeting will be transcribed to record public comments. The 
meeting will begin with NRC staff providing a description of the NRC's 
role and mission. A brief overview of the licensing process will be 
followed by a brief description of the environmental review process. 
Most of the meeting time will be allotted for attendees to make oral 
comments.
    In addition, the NRC staff will host informal discussions for one 
hour prior to the start of the public meeting. No formal comments on 
the proposed scope of the EIS will be accepted during the informal 
discussions. To be considered, comments must be provided either at the 
transcribed public meeting or in writing, as discussed below.
    Persons may register to attend or present oral comments at the 
scoping meeting by contacting Tarsha Moon at (301) 415-7843, or by 
sending e-mail to nrc.gov">[email protected]nrc.gov no later than May 28, 2009. 
Members of the public may also register to speak at the meeting prior 
to the start of the session. Individual oral comments may be limited by 
the time available, depending on the number of persons who register. 
Members of the public who have not registered may also have an 
opportunity to speak, if time permits. If special equipment or 
accommodations are needed to attend or present information at the 
public meeting, please contact Tarsha Moon no later than May 21, 2009, 
so that the NRC staff can determine whether the request can be 
accommodated.

6.0 Scoping Comments

    Members of the public may provide comments orally at the 
transcribed public scoping meeting or in writing. Written comments may 
be sent by e-mail to nrc.gov">[email protected]nrc.gov or mailed to the address 
listed above in the ADDRESSES Section.
    At the conclusion of the scoping process, the NRC staff will 
prepare a summary of public comments regarding the scope of the 
environmental review and significant issues identified. NRC staff will 
send this summary to each participant in the scoping process for whom 
the staff has an address. This summary and project-related material 
will be available for public review through our electronic reading 
room: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. The scoping meeting 
summaries and project-related materials will also be available on the 
NRC's AREVA Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility Web page: http://www.nrc.gov/materials/fuel-cycle-fac/arevanc.html.

7.0 The NEPA Process

    The EIS for the AES facility will be prepared pursuant to the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the NRC's NEPA 
Regulations at 10 CFR Part 51. After the scoping process is complete, 
the NRC and its contractor will prepare and publish a draft EIS. A 45-
day comment period on the draft EIS is planned, and public meetings to 
receive comments will be held approximately three weeks after 
publication of the draft EIS. Availability of the draft EIS, the dates 
of the public comment period, and information about the public meetings 
will be announced in the Federal Register, on NRC's AREVA Eagle Rock 
Enrichment Facility Web page, and in the local news media. The final 
EIS will include responses to any comments received on the draft EIS.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 27th day of April 2009.

    For The Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Patrice M. Bubar,
 Deputy Director, Environmental Protection and Performance Assessment 
Directorate, Division of Waste Management, and Environmental 
Protection, Office of Federal and State Materials, and Environmental 
Management Programs.
[FR Doc. E9-10141 Filed 5-1-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P